A woman from America has shared her disgust and upset after a letter was sent out her work place regarding her expressing breast milk whilst at work.
Jessie Walters said “I work for a local Department of Social Services that receives funding from the State of Virginia and federal government.
I cannot pump at my desk as it is connected to a large window that is completely open to the area where all traffic flows in and out of the agency. Not only would this create a potentially bigger issue, but I’d also feel incredibly uncomfortable.
My supervisor has (very unenthusiastically) been providing me with a calendar of office spaces that I may utilize to pump for the last 4 weeks since returning from maternity leave. I’ve been lucky in that many coworkers are taking leave to go on vacation, so I’ve been able to utilize the same space for at least most of a week before having to move elsewhere.
Now we’re coming to a point where it’s a bit more difficult to find space since most employees are in their office, so my supervisor has been sending out an email to an entire unit of employees explaining that I’ve returned from maternity leave and require a place to pump 3 times a day. She also includes a list of “expectations” for me on the email to make THEM feel more comfortable with me utilizing their space (she referred to my breast milk as “bodily fluids” 🙄).
I hardly know any of these people, and I wouldn’t even have known about the email at all until a close coworker expressed concerns about my personal business being put out there. I understand that my supervisor is making an attempt to find a space for me, which I do appreciate, but I don’t think she is handling this appropriately. Thoughts?
Also.. a little back story.. this particular supervisor does not have children and has a long history of being unempathetic towards working mothers. When confronting her about making my space more private (very easy to do) so that I may pump and continue to work and not burden other employees, she was VERY offended and expressed that she was already being accommodating (in a way that made it seem like I should be grateful she’s even allowing me to pump). She also ends each email to me (re: pumping space) with a statement that “If all else fails, there is a private bathroom in our lobby that can be utilized.” She REALLY thinks it would be appropriate to utilize a bathroom space to express milk”.
What would you suggest she do? would you be unhappy if this was you or would you laugh it off?